Yes, you read that correctly - the Froothie Evolve is a high speed blender that also cooks your food. Sounds pretty rad, eh? Read on to find out whether it's a cool tool or a fool tool!
[UPDATE] I've now had this blender for almost a year, and have updated this review accordingly. Updates are in grey boxes, so are easy to find.
Froothie Evolve High Speed Blender Review
When Froothie contacted me a couple of weeks ago, and asked if they could send me their new Evolve blender to play with... ummm, review, I did get a wee bit excited. I'd seen a couple of ads, and it looked pretty darn swanky, so naturally, I jumped at the chance of adding yet another
large huge appliance to my Borrower-sized kitchen! Ha ha!
The Evolve is the latest in Froothie's arsenal of high speed blenders, and what a beautiful beast it is. In addition to the usual blendy stuff it does (see my VAC2 post for more info about how good Froothie blenders are), the Evolve cooks the food too.
I mean, what the frell?!
Okay, okay, it doesn't cook all the food; it won't for example, bake a cake, or make a roast but it will steam veggies and rice, and it does make soup. I haven't tried yet but I suspect it will be rather good at steaming Asian dumplings (aka pot stickers) and bao. I intend to give it a go when I have time.
[UPDATE] Asian dumplings sort of worked but they were a bit slimy. However, given that I could only do a couple at a time makes it a bit pointless - who only eats two dumplings?!
Bao was a similar story, except only one at a time. Again, pretty pointless.
Froothie Evolve Features
- 1,75 litre reinforced tempered glass jug for making soups (chunky and smooth) sauces, baby food, and steamed grub, such as vegetables.
- 1,8 litre reinforced tempered glass vacuum* jug for making smoothies, sorbets, nut butters, flours, cake batter**, etc.
- Chunky motor housing unit with a motor so powerful, it could break the landspeed record. (The last part may not be entirely true.)
- Japanese stainless steel 6-blade assembly in each jug. (Not sure why the steel being Japanese is of any relevance unless you're planning to remove the assembly, and make shuriken for your friendly neighbourhood samurai.)
- 10 preset functions; smooth soup, chunky soup, baby food, sauce, steam, vacuum smoothie, vacuum fruit and veg, sorbet, nuts, clean. You can also to set the blending speed, time, and cooking temperature manually.
- A bunch of accessories, including; spatula, tamper, steaming basket, small measuring jug, cleaning brush, and a recipe book (as well as a user manual, of course).
- Voice-activated options***; yep, you can tell your Froothie Evolve to make soups, smoothies, etc.
- Bluetooth-app****; just download and install the Froothie app on your smartphone, and from there, you can not only tell Froothie to make your stuff but also to clean itself.
- Comes in 5 different colours.
- *Obviously, the vacuum function can't be used for anything that requires you to open the lid in order to push ingredients down, for example, nut butters, hummus, or my home-made vegan Nutella.
- **Yes, really - check out my friend, Janice's blender banana bread if you don't believe me!
- ***Doesn't respond to swearing, apparently.
- ****See pros and cons for more info.
What else do you get with the Froothie Evolve?
As with the VAC2, Froothie offers the following benefits for Evolve users...
- 30-day free trial with free returns (UK mainland only).
- Free 5 year warranty as standard, with paid options to upgrade to 7 and 10 years. (T&Cs apply, of course.)
- Interest-free buy now, pay later: just pay 10% of the total price at the time of purchasing, then divide the balance between 6 or 12 equal monthly payments.
- Free shipping for all purchases.
Using the Froothie Evolve
Firstly, I have to admit that I've not used all the functions the Evolve has to offer. I have no possible reason to make baby food, for example. Also, it's winter, so sorbet is well and truly out!
I did try steaming some sticky rice... the less said about that the better.
[UPDATE] I tried again, thinking it was user error the first time around but nah - it just doesn't cut it. It's much easier to just steam it in the usual way.
I haven't tried steaming jasmine or basmati rice but TBH honest, my rice cooker makes perfect rice, and enough for several meals (we eat a lot of rice!), so I don't think I'll ever use the Evolve for that.
I do think it will be good to steam veggies just for me whenever amato mio is away on business though. The steamer basket isn't large enough to steam sufficient vegetables for two of us though (we eat a lot of veg!).
[UPDATE] I did attempt steamed rice (white basmati, brown basmati, and jasmine) - no dice, no rice. It simply does not not work. The rice just doesn't cook. But that's OK because using it to cook rice was never going to be a thing anyway. I just wanted to see if it would.
The steamed veggies were fine but I did find that I had to add quicker-cooking ones later, otherwise, even with layering them right at the top, they still came out far too soft.
Again, it's much easier to use a stovetop steamer pan.
I've made precisely one smoothie so far. I'm really not a smoothie fan, so I won't be using the Evolve to make a lot of them.
I've also made pesto, using the blender function, not sauce, as it doesn't need to be cooked.
[UPDATE] In reality, the sauce function is the same as the soup setting on the VAC2 - it just heats and blends the food. I found that it really wasn't any good for making sauces because the lack of cooking means the resultant sauce has no richness. Not what you want from a sauce.
Also, you have to use very hot water, or else the sauce comes out tepid because the heat comes from the motor, not a heating element.
As before, I've found that it's much better to cook your food in the conventional way.
Making soup in the Froothie Evolve
I've also made quite a few soups. Because soup is life.
Remember my broccoli cheese soup that I made in my VAC2? I made it in the Evolve, and it was much better. I also made my gingery parsnip soup, albeit without the spicy chickpeas. Ditto my cheesy leek and potato soup.
I haven't made any chunky soups yet, such as pasta e fagioli. That's next on the agenda though. And if it works without smooshing all the veggies, I'm not seeing why I couldn't cook a curry or stew in the Evolve.
[UPDATE] Having now tried all manner of soups, I have discovered that the chunky soup function does not work at all well. The blender has a tendency to only heat one side of the jug, so you end up with partially cooked food.
Pasta e fagioli really doesn't work. Curry doesn't work (why, oh why did I think it might? I must have got caught up in the excitement!). Stew... nope. Slow cooker all the way for that.
Smooth soups are fine but I find they taste better when cooked in a pan, and then blended.
Making Quick Vegetable Soup in the Froothie Evolve
Shortly after the Evolve arrived, I made some veggie soup. The easiest veggie soup ever, as it happens.
I just chopped up a bunch of veggies I had to hand (half a butternut squash (unpeeled), some celery, an onion, a red pepper, and a couple of carrots, and chucked them into the blender, along with some vegetable broth. I deliberately didn't add herbs, seasoning, garlic, or oil, as I only wanted the flavour of the vegetables.
I put the lid on, said,
"Hey, Froothie! Make my soup!"
And 30 minutes later, I had enough cooked-and-blended vegetable soup for amato mio and me to have two bowls each (on different days!). It was nice but to be honest, it would have been almost no more effort to cook it on the hob in a pan, and it would've had a greater depth of flavour because I'd have made a soffritto first.
Froothie Evolve vs cooking on the hob
Is it any quicker to make soup in the Evolve than in a pan on the hob? Marginally, yes.
Normally, I'd fry the onions in a little oil, then add the chopped veggies, broth, and some herbs, pop a lid on, then simmer away for 15-20 mins, until the veggies have cooked. After that, I'd transfer to a blender, and blitz for 30 seconds or so, until the soup is smooth.
At 30 minutes, the Evolve soup function takes around the same amount of time but has the big advantage of only having one thing to wash up, instead of a pan, wooden spoon, ladle, and blender. And as you can see from the pics below, the soup is silky smooth.
Making Nut Milk In the Froothie Evolve
I may not be a fan of smoothies but one thing I do really enjoy is home-made milk, made from nuts, oats, soya beans, coconut, etc.
Making cashew milk in the Evolve is simplicity itself; I didn't even need to soak the cashews first. Just put some into the blender jar with some water, half a vanilla pod, and a couple of dates (for a touch of sweetness), swapped the vacuum lid insert for the cooking lid one, and blended on high speed for around a minute. The resultant cashew milk didn't need any straining once it was done.
[UPDATE] This is still a great way to make nut and oat milks - the Evolve has never let me down on this front!
Pros & Cons of the Froothie Evolve
- Glass jugs! Not only are they wide enough to comfortably be able to get everything out (e.g. hummus or nut butters), they're not going to take on the sandblasted appearance of plastic jugs after repeated use.
- Very sturdy.
- Easy to use, whether using voice activation or manual controls.
- Vacuum function allegedly helps prevent oxidisation, ergo, (also) allegedly better for you. I have no idea whether any of this is true or just marketing and bro-science woo. Unlike my VAC2, the Evolve's vacuum function does actually work, and I did notice a lack of separation after leaving half of my smoothie to stand for a couple of hours. (For science!) No idea whether the lack of separation would last longer - it doesn't with milks, which most definitely have to be shaken before use.
- Really high-powered; everything comes out so smooth and creamy (providing you want it to, of course!).
- Hands-free operation; okay, I admit that as a massive geek and SciFi fan, being able to talk to my blender gives me a big happy! It's just a shame that voice activation doesn't have more functions, and is not customisable.
- Heavy jugs (ooerr missus!); some folk may think that having two large, heavy glass jugs is not an advantage but I say they're wrong. Why? Because they are the ideal size and weight to use during workouts! That's right, kids, you too can use your Evolve jugs for flyes!
- Comes with a recipe book.
App-control; I haven't been able to get the app to work with my Sony Xperia. While the app for iOS is in the Apple Store, its Android counterpart is not available through Google Play. It's only via a QR code supplied by Froothie, so of course, Google doesn't like it, and won't allow me to install it on my phone.
It's a shame because I would love to be able to just load up the Evolve cook jug, go and have a long bath, and then halfway through, tell the blender to make me some soup. Emerging from the bath to a ready-made supper sounds like bliss to me.
Alas, until the Froothie app is available through Google Play, I may never know such childish joys.
- Cleaning I: while the Evolve does have a clean programme, it's only for the blender jug. The cook jug has to be cleaned using the pulse function. Don't ask me why - I really don't know, and no one at Froothie was prepared to give me an answer. Cleaning the jugs using functions is a pain in the butt, since you have to basically fill, pulse, empty. Repeat until clean.
- Cleaning II: because the base of both jugs houses electrical spaghetti, the jugs cannot be immersed in water, which makes cleaning less than efficient. The manual says to not hold the jug under running water, either, just in case of splashes. My method for cleaning involves laying the jug on its side, so that the body is over the sink, with the base on dry land, as it were, on the counter. That way, I can give it a good zhoosh-round with a soapy cloth, and then I rinse it using the blender functions. It's far from ideal, and takes at least three times as long as it would if I could just wash the damn thing.
- Cleaning III: No amount of pulsing is ever going to clean the outside of the jug, so at some point, you have to use a cloth, sponge, or scourer to sort out spillages. It's best to wrap a tea towel around the base to protect it from drips.
- Loudness; like all high-powered blenders, the Evolve is loud. It doesn't bother me - it's not for long, anyway - but if you have young children or light sleepers, you may find you need to plan your blending adventures so as to not disturb them.
- The recipe book is full of recipes that have nothing to do with the Evolve. Some of them don't even seem to be able to be made in this blender! I suspect they may have been submitted by bloggers who've reviewed other Froothie products.
Right now, I'm thinking that the Froothie Evolve could be a great blender. It has multiple functions and options that cover just about every blending need you could ever have.
Sure, there are a couple of downsides but overall, this is a great addition to any kitchen... providing you have the space for it!
[UPDATE] Having used this blender for almost a year, I can honestly say that for me, I found it more trial than triumph.
1. It takes up so much space. Space I really can't afford.
2. Cleaning is a muff-ache. The fact that the jugs can't just go into the dishwasher, or even in soak in the sink, is a major minus. By the time I've cleaned the darned thing, I may just as well have made food in the conventional way in the first place.
3. After making many, many soups in the Evolve, I can honestly say that I never want to eat another blender soup. There's a reason that for millennia we've been making soups in pots over a heat source... because it works!
4. If there's even a hint of moisture, the blender freaks out. It may trip your electrics, or it may just refuse to work, and sit there, bleeping at you like a bleepy moron. My appliances have to work hard for me - I have no time to mollycoddle temperamental tools!
5. The voice activation is a gimmick, and not overly useful. It only works if you're standing close enough to breath on the machine, and then, only when it wants to. If you're the kind of person whose idea of speaking foreign languages is to speak English very slowly and loudly, you'll be fine with the Evolve.
6. The instruction manual is largely nonsense. So much so that I ended up rewriting part of it, and sending the edits to Froothie. They sent me a PDF manual with the amendments but I know not whether the hard copy that comes with the Evolve has been updated.
7. The app: someone from Froothie kept emailing me QR codes (or rather the same one over and over again), and didn't seem to understand that until they had a legitimate app on the Play Store, I was not prepared to compromise my security. I've heard that the iPhone app works fine. The Android one is on the Play Store now but for me, that ship has long sailed.
1. Issues aside, it really is a great blender.
2. Wide glass jugs are great, and easy to get your hand in to clean.
3. If you're short on time, or not particularly into standing over a stove, this could be great for you.
4. Because the steamer insert is so small, it's the ideal size to make baby food. That said, you do still have to remove the steamer insert, and tip the food into the blender jar in order to purée it, so you may as well just just chuck a bit of what the rest of the family is having into the blender in the first place!
5. It's really good for making plant-based milks, cold sauces (such as pesto, taratoor, etc.), coconut butter, etc.
Would I have bought this blender? Absolutely not! I think it's massively expensive for what it is, especially when it has several issues. I was glad to have had the opportunity to put it through its paces but ultimately, I've gone back to using my VAC2 because it does everything I need a blender to to. Which is to blend.
I don't need gimmicky bells and whistles, I just need something to blend soups and sauces, occasionally make nut and seed butters, and sometimes to make plant milks. I don't need a blender to cook for me.
Would I recommend the Evolve? Definitely not if you just want a blender but if you're someone who'd use all the different functions, and is prepared to be very careful about not getting it wet, then this may be for you.
Ultimately though, this is not something I would buy, which is why I am no longer including any affiliate links. I'm not going to encourage anyone to part with their money for something I wouldn't pay for.
TLDR: The Evolve is a great blender but there are better ones out there. Needs lots of space and care. Before spending £600, ask yourself whether you really need all the functions, or do you just need normal high-speed blender.